In one of the biggest stories of the deadline day, Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers have managed to sign Bournemouth outcast Benik Afobe on loan for the rest of the season. The 24-year old quit Molineux Stadium to move to Bournemouth back in 2016 after a superb year for the Wolves but failed to have an impact under Eddie Howe till date.
The former Arsenal academy product, who scored 23 goals in his first stint with Wolves, will now spend the rest of the season at his former club on loan and will look to make sure that they do not slip up in their bid to promotion.
Nuno Espirito Santo has done an excellent job with the squad at his disposal and has signed Rafael Mir Vicente from Valencia and will look to get into the business end of the season on a high. But how will the Wolves lineup for the rest of the season? What is the strongest XI the manager can field? Does it include Afobe?
Wolves strongest XI (3-4-3):
John Ruddy has been solid under the bar for the Championship outfit this season and remains their best option on goal. He has been well shielded by a back-3 of Conor Coady in the middle and Willy Boly to the left and Ryan Bennett to the left. Danny Bath and Roderick Miranda have acted as decent backups when needed, giving the Wolves a solid foundation at the back.
Santo does not have too many options for his midfield and has stuck to a Matt Doherty at right wing-back and Barry Douglas at left wing-back for most of the season. Ruben Vinagre has done when needed on the left flank but is only an option from the bench.
Ruben Neves has been the clog in the midfield, that has got the team running together. Romain Saiss has also not done much wrong this season, forming a formidable partnership in the midfield, probably the best in the division this season. Alfred N’Diaye has got his chances but is also only an option from the bench in Wolves’ strongest lineup.
This is where Santo has had a few problems. Leo Bonatini remains the first choice striker for the manager, and his return of 12 goals and 5 assists is the best for the club this season. He has been accompanied by Diogo Jota, who has 11 goals and 4 assists, covering for Bonatini when needed, but starting on the left flank in this strongest XI.
Ivan Cavaleiro has also been in decent form but has the likes of Helder Costa and Bright Enobakhare fighting for his place on the right flank.
Afobe’s addition will mean that he can act as a backup to Bonatini, giving Jota a chance to stick to his role on the flank. Here is how they might line up:
What do you think is Wolves’ strongest XI with Afobe?
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